Sadistic Meth-using killer could get life jail

Posted: 30th September 2011 by Doc in Uncategorized
Comments Off on Sadistic Meth-using killer could get life jail

David Warwick Hopkins stood brandishing a knife at a petrol station for three minutes and 21 seconds as Nicole Joy Millar was “incinerated”, threatening anyone who attempted to save her as she collapsed in flames and in agony.

“It’s horrific, it’s barbaric, beyond the comprehension of almost any civilised human being,” Justice Betty King said in the Supreme Court yesterday, expressing horror at having to face watching CCTV footage of the crime, which happened early on June 1 last year.

“I haven’t come across anything quite like it in my 35 years (in law),” she said.

Hopkins – who had allegedly taken a cocktail of cannabis, speed, methamphetamine, Viagra, testosterone and alcohol – stabbed Ms Millar, 42, in the neck before turning a bowzer nozzle on her and setting her aflame with a cigarette lighter.

“Burn b—-, I hope you die … leave her, let her burn … let her burn in hell,” Hopkins yelled at Ms Millar and others who attempted to save her.

Ms Millar had crawled burning from her vehicle after he slashed at her throat with a knife, then twice poured petrol on her from the bowzer nozzle before taking a lighter from his pocket and igniting her.

Prosecutor John Champion, SC, told the court Hopkins, slashing at his own chest with the knife and warning onlookers they would be attacked if they approached, was seen to crouch near Ms Millar as she slumped in the forecourt of the Bayswater pertrol station and taunt her.

“She was heard to be continually screaming in pain and for help as her clothing and body continued to burn,” Mr Champion said.

Hopkins was forced to retreat when a witness drove his vehicle at him.

After others rushed to her aid to douse the flames, and after being taken to hospital, Ms Millar was placed into an induced coma about 10am at The Alfred hospital.

But not before she offered her last words to an attending anaesthetist: “Please, don’t let me die.”

Ms Millar died as a result of her burns about 6pm.

A week earlier Hopkins, who turns 42 today, had assaulted Ms Millar, smashed his vehicle into hers and threatened to kill her.

An emotionless Hopkins, who pleaded guilty to murder, stood with his head bowed throughout most of yesterday’s hearing.

He had unsuccessfully attempted in recent weeks to change his plea to not guilty by reason of a drug-induced disassociative state.

Justice King said heavy drug ingestion, rather than mitigating, could be an aggravating factor given the known consequences of illicit substances, particularly ice.

The victim impact statement of one of Ms Millar’s children, Ashlea Millar, read to the court, spoke of the pain at living through the tragedy and trauma.

“I thought that mum had finally found someone who loved her,” Ashlea said of Hopkins – who had been in a relationship with Ms Millar for about 18 months – saying he had helped her deal with the death of her father before the attack.

“I feel that my heart has been ripped out … how could he do that to mum?”

Defence barrister David Moen said Hopkins was remorseful and understood the enormity of his actions.

Hopkins will be sentenced on a date to be fixed.

Comments are closed.